231

Eric Mintel: Ground Breaker

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Eric Mintel: Ground Breaker The title of a record may be misleading, and even when it promises more than it delivers, it doesn't necessarily mean that the music is of poor quality. Eric Mintel's Ground Breaker does no such thing but it is a solid, well above average effort in the post bop tradition.

The original tunes are all complex, intricate compositions by Mintel, allowing each musician plenty of solo space. The music has the loose swinging beat of 1950s Blue Note recordings, but the use of an electric bass instead of an acoustic gives a modern sensibility that does not seem out of place at all. The tunes alternate between modal and more standard bluesy hard bop, as well as subtle elements of western classical music. Although Mintel counts Dave Brubeck as his mentor and idol, his playing is more reminiscent of the lighter toned pianists of '50s jazz including Kenny Drew and Barry Harris.

The lone horn player in the group is Nelson Hill, whose sound on flute and alto saxophone is derivative—but not a mere copy—of James Moody's later work. The rhythm section, with electric bassist Dave Antonow and drummer Dave Mohn, deftly anchors the music and its members occasionally solo with quiet passion. The music is recorded on an old-fashioned console which, in addition to impeccable sound, this adds to the album's old school charm.

There is a unity of theme throughout, even when the sole standard, "When You're Smiling," is introduced. Unity, however, does not mean monotony because in their intricate improvisations and interpretations of the multilayered compositions, the musicians imbue the music with enough variety to maintain interest through more than one listen.

Unlike its title, Ground Breaker does not break new ground but is a high quality recording of post bop by a quartet of highly creative and talented musicians.


Track Listing: Ten on One; Reflection; Mojito Madness; Without You; Ground-Breaker; Taking a Chance; Naked Blues; Lonely Road; When You're Smiling; Lost Love.

Personnel: Eric Mintel: piano; Nelson Hill: reeds; Dave Mohn: drums; Dave Antonow: bass.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: EJM | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "What Doesn’t Kill You" CD/LP/Track Review What Doesn’t Kill You
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011" CD/LP/Track Review 3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Fierce Silence" CD/LP/Track Review Fierce Silence
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "Hibernation" CD/LP/Track Review Hibernation
by John Eyles
Published: March 14, 2016
Read "Dare to Be" CD/LP/Track Review Dare to Be
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: August 8, 2016
Read "Rise" CD/LP/Track Review Rise
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!